Sisters among academy recruits

Colac Imperials netballers Rhiannon, left, and Bianca Whitson are two of the latest additions to Geelong’s Barwon Sports Academy.

COLAC Imperials sisters Rhiannon and Bianca Whitson hope to improve their netball skills at a Geelong sports academy.

The Whitson sisters, Colac Tigers netballer Bessie Hammond, Colac tennis export Jayson Tomicic and Trinity College runner Kirstie Newcombe are the latest additions to Geelong’s Barwon Sports Academy.

The Whitsons are part of Colac District’s 17-and-under Western Region State League team and will complete a year-long training program including specialist coaching.

Academy officials work with individual athletes and tailor a program which aims to improve all-round development.

Rhiannon said she became interested in an academy place after her good friend Edwina Parker attended last year.

“Edwina Parker did it last year, we didn’t really know much about it but we thought it would be good to give it a go,” she said.

“It’s about improving skills and stuff.”

Bianca said the academy, which would organise gym sessions for inductees at Colac’s Bluewater Fitness Centre, would help improve her fitness.

“I think it’s about building up your strength and your body and everything,” she said.

WRSL has 15-minute quarters compared with 12 minutes for the Colac district league although Colac’s league is set to adopt 15-minute quarters this season.

Rhiannon said the extra academy training should help meet the demands of the representative competition.

“They have 15-minute quarters so that’s harder to play and our fitness is a bit down,” she said.

“But it’s been good and it’s a harder competition.”

Barwon Sports Academy will induct golf, soccer and cycling athletes in early March.

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